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Old 08-07-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Chrono data with target groups +

Back again with completed test results.



Gun is 1 1/2 year old S&W 686 6 inch barrel - gunsmith slugged my barrel (0.3565") and all chambers at (0.357") no changes have been made to this gun, except I tightened the mainspring screw all the way in and then no more ftf

Powder: 2400 11.4 grains to 13.2 grains in 0.2 gr increments

Bullets: PennBullets premium grade 158 grain cast truncated cone, bevel base, they varied in weight from 157.75 gr to 158.50 gr and were sorted (10 per group) to have same weight for each test charge. 20 bullets were measured with Brown & Sharp Swiss Made Vernier Micrometer w / convertible thimble and found to be 0.357"

all 100 cases were new Starline and all were measured and varied from 1.277" to 1.282" of which 77 measured exactly 1.280" these were used randomly for the test loads

all charges were individually measured on an OHaus 10-10, scale was zeroed and then checked with RCBS check weights at 10 grains and 20 grains

AOL= 1.578"

Chronograph: Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital

CCI #550 primers used because I was getting low on CCI #500's and these were all that was in stock


All bullets were shot into an individual target, groups graphically shown using tracing paper, for each load shot numbers are shown next to POI circle

11.4gr, 11.6gr and 11.8 gr Loads were shot with mainspring screw out one full turn and I experienced 5 fail to fire's on the primer, 3 eventually went off - but the other 2 did not during testing - avg velocity was computed with 9 rounds for those 2 loads

with the 12.0 load, chrono was working minutes before this test - but skies darkened up noticeably - chrono started giving out errors - after getting home I read in the owners manual that I should have taken the diffusers off - it would have to be my best group







I have no idea why I switched targets for the 11.8 load

My head hurts and now I have to figure out what this all means - but you can bet I'm going to load up the 12.0 gr load again and get some chrono results

any help understanding this would be greatly appreciated
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:46 PM
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Thanks for that. You didn't ask any questions so I guess you are just sharing. If you are looking for any comments, I can give you a few based on my own personal experience.
1. I have never seen the need for magnum primers with #2400 in any of the magnum revolver cartridges. I have seen cases where I thought magnum primers were a drawback rather than an asset.
2. I don't think you are making enough pressure to get consistency in your loads, as demonstrated by the fairly high extreme spreads.
3. I have never considered that firing one target proves much of anything - on either chronograph or for accuracy.
4. Accuracy testing of any well-made revolver like your 686 is best done at at least 25-yards, and preferably at 50, if you can swing it. Some loads that hold up well at short range don't seem to do it at longer ranges. If you never shoot farther than 50-ft, OK. If you do, ALWAYS test at the longest range you normally have reason to shoot.

These comments are just offered as food for thought and not meant to be critical of anything you have done. As an old reloading and revolver accuracy hack, I enjoy reading stuff like this and thanks for sharing your info.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:03 PM
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M29 thanks for the input- its info like this I'm looking for. I usually do shoot at 25 yards - its just that I was shooting at 1/2 inch bullseye's to get the individual shots POI. These loads will shoot tighter groups, I've shot them before. I do have a question. You say I'm not getting enough pressure, increase the crimp?
Thanks again
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:06 PM
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If you listed it, I missed it. What kind of crimp are you using?
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jepp2 View Post
If you listed it, I missed it. What kind of crimp are you using?
A medium / heavy crimp
I will measure it tomorrow and add it to the post
Geeze I did miss something
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:15 PM
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My experience is that crimp only does so much good and I have the belief that magnum primers just don't help with #2400. I would look up some Federal 100s and increase your charge. Most .357 shooters I know have settled on a charge somewhere between 13.0 and 15.0 grains. Charges below 13.0 grains always seem to give high extreme spreads. I am always looking for an extreme spread of less than 50 FPS in my magnum revolver rounds - less, if I can get it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:28 PM
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Default Would heavier crimping....

Would heavier crimping help the velocity spread??

686s have great triggers, I would keep the screw tight.

Excellent testing, data and presentation. I've never seen such detail.

M29.... good comments
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:29 PM
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Default Would heavier crimping....

Would heavier crimping help the velocity spread??

686s have great triggers, I would keep the screw tight.

Excellent testing, data and presentation. I've never seen such detail.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:36 PM
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forestswin,

While there are other factors part of what you have discovered is what I discussed at length in this post: Light primer strike, aftermarket main spring

Crimp, primer, temperature, humidity are all other variables, bit this is a big one!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:40 AM
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His mainspring screw was loose as discussed in a previous thread.

Forest, data by cylinder(chamber)? and they called me OCD

Jepp2 beat me again. sure would like to see a close up of your crimp.Could make a difference. Keep that bullet in there nice and tight so the pressure can build up fully before liftoff.

Other than that, outstanding! A true engineer
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:44 AM
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I am sure you have tested your crimp for it to :
just take out the belling to where the case is really bent heavy and have measured how far the die is backed out from the locking lug/nut. I have three black felt marks on my die but do check now and then with an instrument if loading a new bullet or some thing is different so I can log it.

"Normally" more crimp will give higher fps but............
I find out that POI can also change from one crimp pressure to another on a bullet, mostly if a lead one.

I usually go with a medium or M/Heavy with the jacket bullets.... a HEAVY crimp never gave me best accuracy with copper but maybe my die puts outa heavier crimp than a standard die ?

You might try that 12gr load with a medium, M/H and heavy crimp to see what happens? FPS and POI could be quite different. (std. primer)

Boy, there went 100 bullets in a hurry............... noticed the ES got a lot better with the heavier primer strikes. Funny how the upper end mellowed out in the fps department.

Good shooting.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 08-08-2013 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:55 AM
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He is shooting cast lead here. Roll that crimp into the groove. It"s difficult to put "too much" crimping into a groove.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:43 PM
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I'd noodle with that 12.8 load too ...
see what more or less crimp does to it as well as slight depth adjustments.
while its numbers are the worst of the range, the 1.1" group speaks.
if the numbers can be attributed to a die adjustment while it produces note worthy accuracy, a little time spent could tighten up both the numbers and the groups.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:43 PM
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Default crimp

jepp, rwsmith, Rule, Nevada and any other interested party

you asked to see the crimp here it is




OD of case is .379" crimp is at 0.370"
this round was made tonight with the one leftover case from the 101 new cases - however, the die has been locked down tight - should be exactly the same as those I shot in the test - funny I needed to check the primer depth for a previous thread - so I just capped off this extra round with a bullet - it is a dud - no powder-

somehow Starline knew I needed 101 cases
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:05 PM
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Default Sorry I missed....

Sorry I missed the discussion about the spring and.....

That's some crimp!
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:40 AM
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Sorry I missed the discussion about the spring and.....

That's some crimp!
It does seem to be "sufficient"
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:03 AM
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It does seem to be "sufficient"
While we're there -- is this a light, medium, medium-heavy or a heavy crimp??
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:16 AM
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I'd call that heavy, it almost looks like a neck down crimp.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:39 AM
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I'd call that heavy, it almost looks like a neck down crimp.
It's using a regular Lee seating/crimping die -not their factory crimp die- with seating screw all the way up. I seat and crimp with separate dies -Separate operations. Waywatcher - what do think about the chrono data above?
You gave me some good chrono advice in the other thread.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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I agree with "sufficient," but I can't tell a lot from the picture. With #2400, I don't think you can have too tight of a crimp, but it is also important that your case gets a good hold of the bullet. With a little experience, you can tell about this by the amount of force it takes to seat the bullet. When you are seating the bullet if it feels like it presses into the case without much resistance, either your expander plug needs a little polishing (to a smaller size) or your brass is worn out (in my experience, usually it cracks first). Your expander plug should be 0.003" or so smaller than the bullet. You might find it helpful to seat in one operation and crimp in a separate operation. It is worth the small extra trouble to do so, IMO.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:51 AM
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It's using a regular Lee seating/crimping die -not their factory crimp die- with seating screw all the way up. I seat and crimp with separate dies -Separate operations. Waywatcher - what do think about the chrono data above?
You gave me some good chrono advice in the other thread.
Chrono data is very good, I found it curious that the ES almost seemed inversely related to the group size, and that Avg. velocity didn't appreciably increase after 12.8 grains.

Looks like you found a good load for your revolver!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:57 AM
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Chrono data can be funny. I have seen loads with 300 FPS of ES that shot very well... at short range.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:31 AM
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I went thru this phase a whole bunch of years ago
borrowed a Ransom Rest from my gunsmith,setup my chronograph
took several loads with different bullets and powder charges
analyzed the data
confirmed that the load I shot the best had nothing in common with my test results
considered the data interesting and continued to shoot the load I liked

I determined sometime later on that hard cast bevel base 38 bullets from bulk manufactures don't really shoot well
and that flat base hand cast bullets and HBWC do shoot well.
(I thought this was little known until I started reading on some cast bullet forum and it's very well known there)

try some hand cast flat base bullets at 50yds
I no longer fiddle with powder and charge weights
I use a well known load and concentrate on my shooting
basics, basics, bascis
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:51 AM
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I had the same design 125gr by HSM that shot better in my 38 snub over the 125 Xtreme Cow-Boy bullet for light target loads.......
never got them in the .357 as yet, for some odd reason.

I liked the bullet and it was easy to load and shot well, whats not to like?

Nice crimp.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
While we're there -- is this a light, medium, medium-heavy or a heavy crimp??
This is just my opinion. But I rely more on neck tension than I do the crimp. My feeling is that 80% of the resisting force comes from the neck tension, 20% comes from the crimp. Just my WAG, so I don't have hard data other than setback measurements with pistol loads.

What I noticed with your picture of your crimp is that I can't see the bullet outline in the brass. I normally can always see the outline of how the bullet expanded the brass when it is seated. I use a Redding profile crimp and put a light to medium crimp on the brass. I try to maximize the case life by not crimping too heavily. I will post a picture of some loads I am putting together right now and you should be able to see the outline of the bullet easily.

I only mention this because it is something else to consider. To create strong neck tension I use a Lyman M expander and only let the bullet flare portion to enter the case about 1/32". I have to be careful setting the bullet on the case, but it leaves the maximum for neck tension.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmint243 View Post
I went thru this phase a whole bunch of years ago
borrowed a Ransom Rest from my gunsmith,setup my chronograph
took several loads with different bullets and powder charges
analyzed the data
confirmed that the load I shot the best had nothing in common with my test results
considered the data interesting and continued to shoot the load I liked

I determined sometime later on that hard cast bevel base 38 bullets from bulk manufactures don't really shoot well
and that flat base hand cast bullets and HBWC do shoot well.
(I thought this was little known until I started reading on some cast bullet forum and it's very well known there)

try some hand cast flat base bullets at 50yds
I no longer fiddle with powder and charge weights
I use a well known load and concentrate on my shooting
basics, basics, bascis
Where do you get flat base bullets? Any recommendations?
I have wanted to try them for awhile.
2400 and hard cast are fun and these
PENN BULLETS are excellent - but I've been getting my smallest groups with Hornady 158 grain swaged LSWC's over 5.0 grains of
Unique at 25 yards
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
Chrono data can be funny. I have seen loads with 300 FPS of ES that shot very well... at short range.
I must say that going for uniformity with all these inconsistencies is a bit challenging, but hey, if it were that easy - it wouldn't be as rewarding.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jepp2 View Post
This is just my opinion. But I rely more on neck tension than I do the crimp. My feeling is that 80% of the resisting force comes from the neck tension, 20% comes from the crimp. Just my WAG, so I don't have hard data other than setback measurements with pistol loads.

What I noticed with your picture of your crimp is that I can't see the bullet outline in the brass. I normally can always see the outline of how the bullet expanded the brass when it is seated. I use a Redding profile crimp and put a light to medium crimp on the brass. I try to maximize the case life by not crimping too heavily. I will post a picture of some loads I am putting together right now and you should be able to see the outline of the bullet easily.

I only mention this because it is something else to consider. To create strong neck tension I use a Lyman M expander and only let the bullet flare portion to enter the case about 1/32". I have to be careful setting the bullet on the case, but it leaves the maximum for neck tension.
I'd be interested to see your loads. I have seen other's that show the bullet impression on the case - but mine never do????
Have to check into that!
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestswin View Post
Where do you get flat base bullets? Any recommendations?
I have wanted to try them for awhile.
2400 and hard cast are fun and these
PENN BULLETS are excellent - but I've been getting my smallest groups with Hornady 158 grain swaged LSWC's over 5.0 grains of
Unique at 25 yards
I cast my own 38 150gr SWC and 38 170gr SWC
I truly believe I can cast a much better bullet than I can buy.
Otherwise I wouldn't mess with it.
Where in the People's Republic of MD are you ?
I work in MD, live in WV panhandle
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:59 PM
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Where do you get flat base bullets? Any recommendations?
I have wanted to try them for awhile.
Rim Rock Bullets | Cast Lead Bullets ~ Right on target!

Their descriptions are short on words, but they are premium quality cast bullets; Buffalo Bore loads their bullets.

I load their 170 Keith FB in .38 special and get it cranked up to ~900fps at standard pressure in my 4" M15 using data from Lyman's 49th.

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Old 08-10-2013, 09:57 AM
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I have a rather labor intensive reloading process. So I am not trying to get you to follow my process. When I start sizing, I run the brass all the way into a Lee CFCD, then I use a normal carbide sizing die and only go down past where the bullet will go (bullet seating depth). Next I use a Lyman M die to expand the neck. Then I powder, seat and crimp using a Redding profile crimp. But you can clearly see the bulge of the bullet due to the neck tension.

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Old 08-12-2013, 01:05 AM
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Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
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Some times I get case bulge from a bullet but 90% of the time the load looks ok...........

Depends on the case wall thickness, size collet used and the diameter of the bullet.
The old 160gr Speer SJSP bullet was one that I remember the most as bulging a case.

There are some "Fat" .358 dia. lead bullets out there now and then but some guns need that size, not all chambers and barrels are on a diet.
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